My name is Onthene…and…I am an addict.
This is something I put together almost 1070 days ago. At first, I really did not want to post this, seeing that it is a rather uncomfortable subject for some, to me the most of course.
I decided that it is my duty to put this out there in hopes that it might reach other addicts who are too ashamed to admit that they are sex or love addicts. There is no shame in admitting to this.
Maybe you will find some freedom and peace in knowing that you are not alone, there are many of us out there. Do not give up, there is hope, and there is always hope.
I will no longer be ashamed of who I am, I will continue sharing my hope, strength, and experience.
I will continue to share my uglies. I am human, I am in no way shape, or form perfect. And that is okay too. Here goes:
I am an addict. I have been admitting this over and over again, in every meeting, with every share, there is no way to get around that one. I have made peace with the idea that I will die an addict and that recovery is a lifetime commitment. Life on life’s terms.
Up until a few days short of 600 days in recovery, I was handed some literature on sex and love addiction and I had to start getting comfortable with the idea that maybe, just maybe, my addiction does not end with my drug of choice, the substance. And that maybe, just maybe, there might be another sneaky DOC about to open up a whole new level of this disease to me.
Really? Is it not enough that I have to deal with substance abuse?
Do I really have to re-evaluate every relationship I have ever had?
Love and sex should go hand in hand. That is if I am someone who had a healthy sense of sexuality and a track record showing that I had healthy, functioning romantic relationships.
But I am not that someone and I don’t have a squeaky clean history of functioning romantic relationships, and no, I cannot tap out of this one by blame shifting.
What exactly constitutes Sex and love addiction?
Sex addiction is easier to define because it involves an obsession and compulsion with the physical act of sex. Sex addicts seek to have their sexual needs fulfilled through pornography, cybersex, short-term partners, and sometimes sex workers.
An obsession with the mind and compulsion of the body leads to risky and destructive behaviour despite efforts to stop.
The desire for sex goes beyond the normal human sex drive.
“By way of a definition, “sex addiction” is described as a compulsive need to perform sexual acts to achieve the kind of “fix” that a person with alcohol use disorder gets from a drink or someone with opiate use disorder gets from using opiates.”
Love addiction on the other side of the coin is a condition in which I do not fall in love with someone who will reciprocate my affection. I am not addicted to the other person, or to love itself.
I am addicted to the fantasy of the relationship and how it will affect my life.
“Love addiction creates fixations and compulsions in love interests and can play itself out in unhealthy behaviours toward loved ones.
Love addicts can people please, putting the needs of others before their own. It can also result in divorce, affairs, poor job performance, relationship conflict, poor concentration on everyday tasks, enmeshment, clinginess, and emotional distress including anxiety and depression.
Emotional highs such as intense passion, and emotional lows, like intense disappointment or heartbreak, can eventually strain the relationship, resulting in resentment.”
Sex addicts deliberately avoid emotional intimacy, the love addict simply just cannot get enough.
For us addicts, one is too many and a thousand is never enough.
And this goes for anything and everything, including all behavioural addictions like sex and love.
At the root though, both sex and love addictions are caused by similar factors:
- Fear of abandonment
- Childhood abuse
- Emotional trauma and
- The inability to cope with adult life
Pain is the underlying cause of both addictions. To eliminate the possibility of rejection and emotional vulnerability the addict resorts to living in a place of sexual or romantic fantasy escaping the challenge and pain of a healthy adult relationship.
With that said, sex and love addiction are actually not about physical intimacy or romance.
It is all about finding a way to control, avoid and numb painful and difficult emotions. Make sense?
Yes, but why you ask?
Sex and love addicts have learned in early childhood that by escaping into the intense rush of sex, love, or romantic fantasy, they can temporarily numb painful emotions such as shame, fear, depression, and anxiety. Later on, as adults, sex and love addicts will focus on their new love interest or chase a sexual encounter as a way of avoiding the fact that life can be difficult.
I am definitely a love addict. How do I know this?
Well, when not in a relationship, I mostly feel desperately alone, and before I know it I am fantasizing about a former partner or meeting someone new and falling in love.
My track record shows that I have jumped to and from toxic relationships just to not feel so desperately alone, and to add to my demise I have this tendency to fall head over heels faster than you can say, addict. To top it all off, I have been confusing sexual and romantic intensity for love and genuine connection for most of my adult life.
Personally, it is that first initial attraction that becomes the most important thing. I will disregard any signs that this person might not be good for me - my love knows no boundaries. Once I am in, I am in for good, come hell or high water.
This stupid notion that love will conquer anything has been the catalyst in me staying in very toxic and abusive relationships, finding it almost impossible to say no, or practice having healthy boundaries in fear of rejection.
Is there hope for me of having a semi-normal and healthy relationship without the addict in me turning it into a co-dependent and toxic relationship? For sure, there is always hope, all I have to do is show up, for myself.
Do the hard work of eliminating my own toxic traits, and allow myself to be me. I have to give myself permission to love and be loved, warts and all.
If you think that you or a loved one might be a sex and love addict follow this link: https://slaafws.org/ for more information.
There is hope, we do recover.
This personal narrative bravely explores the journey of understanding and overcoming sex and love addiction. The author shares insights into the definition of both addictions, detailing how they manifest in behaviours and emotions. Root causes such as fear of abandonment, childhood abuse, and emotional trauma are explored, emphasizing that pain underlies both addictions. The article delves into the author's experience as a love addict, discussing patterns of toxic relationships and the quest for love. Despite the challenges, the narrative expresses hope for recovery through self-awareness, eliminating toxic traits, and embracing healthy boundaries. The piece concludes by offering resources for those seeking information and support on sex and love addiction.
Introduction to Addiction Acknowledgment
The author opens up by introducing themselves as an addict and highlighting the discomfort associated with admitting to being a sex or love addict. They express a sense of duty to share their experience, strength, and hope, aiming to reach others who may be struggling with similar issues. The underlying message is that there's no shame in admitting to these types of addictions.
Shedding Shame and Sharing Vulnerability
Acknowledging Multiple Layers of Addiction
Understanding Sex and Love Addiction
Root Causes of Sex and Love Addictions
Personal Journey as a Love Addict
In summary, the article not only brings attention to the complexities of sex and love addiction but also emphasizes the importance of vulnerability, self-awareness, and the continuous journey toward recovery. It serves as a beacon of hope for those struggling with similar challenges, encouraging them to seek help and acknowledging that recovery is possible.